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Still sportingly violent and exciting, but it’s not Ditchball

March 4, 2014 — 

It began in 1976 on Hecla Island, Manitoba. The Architecture 1 Class of 76-77 constructed a ditch of snow, and then teams pushed a giant ball — technically a rhombicuboctahedron — back and forth. Ditchball was born.

Shortly after, they wrote a list of rules (pdf). Interesting ones include no limit on the size of the team, and defensive tactics may include “subtle tripping”.

Time altered the game — equipment and style of play, for example. But this year, Ditchball 2014 changed dramatically and was held in direct violation of rule #4, which states, “Ditchball must be played in a ditch.” This year, there was no ditch.

The Students’ Architectural Society in the Faculty of Architecture told UM Today that, due to safety concerns, they were told not to build a ditch.  So they had to re-think the game and what Ditchball could be.  They devised a series of three new sporting events that were played tournament-style, leading to the final championship game in the afternoon on Friday, Feb. 28. Instead of a ditch, they played on a sheet of ice surrounded by snow walls in front of the John A. Russell building. It was still sportingly violent and exciting. And prior to beginning play, students had a “moment of loudness” to pay respect Ditchball (1976-2013).

For what it’s worth, though, this new game arguably obeyed Ditchball’s founding motto:

In the spirit of sportsmanship of truth
and for the enrichment of most of mankind
and a general good time

Architecture alumni, we want to hear your thoughts on this matter. Is this a travesty, or an acceptable and inevitable result of evolution?

What it used to be

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2 comments on “Still sportingly violent and exciting, but it’s not Ditchball

  1. Gregg A.

    Students, fight back. You’re adults. This is ditchball…it’s your game. If it’s safety issues, pair up with engineers. Get credit for doing this or something. But don’t roll over — you wouldn’t let someone roll over you in the game, so don’t allow them to roll over you outside of it.

  2. Dale

    Obviously they’ll have to get a new name. In recognition of how far we’ve come since 1976 and in recognition of the chutzpa shown by those students of old, might I propose the name, “Lameball” for this new effort.

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